1. Covid and the Catholic Schools, They’re showing that classroom learning is safe for students., By The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2020, 7:19 PM, Editorial
Charlie Baker has added something rare to the coronavirus debate—common sense. The Massachusetts Governor recently pointed to the state’s Catholic schools as confirmation that schools can be re-opened safely.
“The kids in schools are not spreaders of Covid,” he said. “I mean, there’s no better example of that right now than the parochial schools in Massachusetts. They have 28,000 kids and 4,000 employees who have been back in-person learning since the middle of August, and they have a handful of cases.”

As Gov. Baker suggests, the positive experience of the parochial schools in handling Covid-19 while reopening their classrooms clearly shows the unions have been wrong to fight school re-openings. But they get away with it because the public schools answer mostly to them and not to the families they are supposed to serve. More school choice is as much a public-health fix as it is an education reform.
2. 3 dead in knife attack in French church; terrorism suspected, By Associated Press, October 29, 2020
An attacker armed with a knife killed three people at a church Thursday in the Mediterranean city of Nice, authorities said. It was the third attack in two months in France.
The assailant was wounded by police and hospitalized after the killings at the Notre Dame Church, less than a half-mile from the site in 2016 where another attacker plowed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd, killing dozens.
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the killings, which marked the third attack since the opening in September of a terrorism trial in the January 2015 killings at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.
“He cried ‘Allah Akbar!’ over and over, even after he was injured,” said Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, who told BFM television that three people had died, two inside the church and a third who fled but was mortally wounded. “The meaning of his gesture left no doubt.”
3. Cardinal Sarah says West must wake up to threat of Islamism after three killed at French Catholic church, By Catholic News Agency, October 29, 2020, 5:36 AM
Vatican Cardinal Robert Sarah said Thursday that the West must wake up to the threat of Islamism after three people were killed at a French church by an attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar.”
The Guinean cardinal wrote on Twitter Oct. 29 that “Islamism is a monstrous fanaticism which must be fought with force and determination.”
“It will not stop its war. Unfortunately, we Africans know this all too well. The barbarians are always the enemies of peace,” the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments wrote.
“The West, today France, must understand this. Let us pray.”
4. The Bishops Have Spoken: Abortion Trumps, By Fr. Frank Pavone, Crisis Magazine, October 29, 2020, Opinion
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been very clear in its characterization of the most important issue in this election: “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority.” Other issues—immigration, racism, poverty and the death penalty—are of great importance and require urgent attention, but even though they are prominent issues, abortion is preeminent among them.
There’s nothing new about this statement. Pope John Paul II made the Church’s teaching on abortion very clear in 1995’s Evangelium Vitae, which states that when a state legalizes abortion, it becomes “a tyrant state,” and causes the death of freedom and the disintegration of the state itself. Those statements sound like abortion is more than a single issue.

Abortion is the preeminent issue of our time and thus the preeminent priority in this election.  No Catholic should be distracted or confused into thinking otherwise. Nor should any other citizen. After all, if a politician can’t respect the life of a little baby, how can he respect yours?
Father Pavone is the national director of Priests for Life and the co-chair of Pro-Life Voices for Trump.
5. Citing pope’s warnings about drugs, Catholic bishops speak on ballot proposals, By Catholic News Agency, October 29, 2020, 12:07 AM
This Election Day, voters in multiple U.S. states will consider several proposals to legalize drugs, ranging from medical and recreational marijuana to harder drugs. Catholic bishops in several states have said voters should look to Pope Francis’ warnings that legalization is ‘highly questionable,’ as it becomes a compromise with drug addiction.
The Oregon Catholic Conference “strongly opposes” Ballot Measure 110, which would decriminalize the possession and use of small amounts of controlled substances including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. It would reduce penalties for possession of large amounts of such controlled substances.

In South Dakota, voters will consider Amendment A, which would legalize recreational use of marijuana for those 21 years and older. It would legalize possession or distribution of up to one ounce of the drug. It would require the state legislature to pass laws providing for a medical marijuana program and the sale of hemp.
Like the bishops of Oregon, the South Dakota Catholic Conference cited Pope Francis’ June 2014 remarks to drug enforcement agencies. The conference also noted the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s paragraph 2291, which teaches that drug use “inflicts very grave damage on human health and life.”

In Arizona, the bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference criticized Proposition 207, called the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, which would both allow persons 21 and older to possess one ounce of marijuana and provide for the legal sale of the drug.
6. Pope advances causes of four 20th-century martyrs, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, October 29, 2020
Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of five men and four women, including four 20th-century martyrs killed in Brazil, Turkey and Italy.
The pope signed the decrees Oct. 27 during a meeting with Cardinal-designate Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. The Vatican published the decrees Oct. 28.
The pope recognized the martyrdom of Capuchin Fathers Leonard Melki and Thomas Saleh, Lebanese friars who served as missionaries in Turkey, where they were arrested, tortured and murdered during the harsh repression by the Ottoman Turks.

The pope also recognized the martyrdom of Father Luigi Lenzini, who was killed in July 1945, just months after World War II ended, by four political extremists in central Italy. While the priest had helped the partisans during the war, he had received death threats for being outspoken against the communist movements gaining momentum in the region.
The pope recognized the martyrdom of a young Brazilian woman, Isabel Cristina Mrad Campos, who was brutally murdered in 1982 by a young man who had been working in the new apartment she moved into with her brother. The man stabbed her 15 times after she refused his aggressive advances.
7. The Catholic Case for Supporting Trump, By Grazie Pozo Christie, October 28, 2020, 12:12 PM
Politics and religion never line up neatly, and sincere Catholics who feel perfectly at home in any one political party must be few and far between. However, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and a decision in one direction or another must be made. I am voting confidently for President Trump, based on four years of steady progress in promoting human life and dignity, religious liberty, and the common good. But other Catholics – sincere good-hearted Catholics – are having a hard time getting there, and I wanted to explain why I am a committed Trump voter.

It comes to this: Donald Trump fights for policies on “morally grave issues” that as a faithful Catholic I take very seriously. Biden fights against these positions. Case closed.
8. Bishops support bills to protect Title IX sports programs for women, girls, By Julie Asher, Catholic News Service, October 28, 2020
The chairmen of two U.S. bishops’ committees said Oct. 27 that companion bills in the House and Senate are needed measures to protect athletic programs designated for women and girls at educational institutions that receive Title IX funds for these programs.
Under the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act — S. 4649 and H.R. 5702 — schools that allow transgender females to compete in girls athletics would lose federal funding.
“Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was a needed landmark to establish equal educational opportunities for women and girls,” said a joint letter to congressional leaders from Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, California, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, and Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, Oklahoma, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
“But any time a policy facilitating such male competition takes an athletic opportunity away from a female,” they wrote, “it is a loss for basic fairness and the spirit of Title IX. We can do better by all students and should continue to uphold the progress made with Title IX in promoting the opportunities for women and girls.”
9. Some 2016 Trump critics say record on abortion, religious liberty changed their minds, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, October 28, 2020, 8:00 PM
During the 2016 Republic primaries, some prominent conservative Catholics warned about Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. Four years later, some say they now support his reelection, while one Catholic scholar told CNA his focus is on the future of American political discourse.
“I have never been more happy about being wrong,” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, told CNA about Trump.
In January 2016, Burch issued a warning that Trump, who was by then the Republican front-runner, would not uphold Catholic principles as president. Burch exhorted Catholics to support another candidate, saying that Trump would “sell out everyone and anyone when it benefits him.” In the general election, CatholicVote.org did not endorse Trump.
But four years later, Burch told CNA that Trump has delivered “far more than we ever thought possible” on pro-life issues and religious freedom.
In September, CatholicVote launched a nearly $10 million campaign to target Catholic voters, highlighting Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s record “on issues of fundamental importance to Catholics including the sanctity of life, religious liberty, judges, education, the dignity of work, and other core issues.”
Trump has been widely praised by pro-life advocates for his appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic, to the Supreme Court. The president said in 2016 that he would fully defund abortion providers, and sign laws to ban abortions after 20 weeks and make the Hyde Amendment permanent, actions which have not been completed during his term in office.
Burch noted those moves depend upon Congressional action.  “The president’s done what he can via executive order, but he had an unwilling Congress,” he told CNA.

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie did not believe that Trump would defend life and religious freedom causes, but voted for him reluctantly in 2016 because she thought his opponent Hillary Clinton would “expand” attacks on those causes.
When President Trump dramatically expanded a policy that prevents federal funding of foreign groups that provide or promote abortions—known as the “Mexico City Policy”— Christie said her doubts about him subsided.
As someone who grew up in Latin America, Christie saw Trump’s policy as a victory against “ideological colonization” of groups that promote abortions in developing countries.
“I know that he [Trump] has surrounded himself with really good people,” she said, “who really understand in a deeply philosophical way the issues of human dignity, marriage, and family.”
10. San Francisco archbishop asks DA to prosecute Serra statue vandalism, By Jonah McKeown, Catholic News Agency, October 28, 2020, 3:56 PM
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has asked the Marin County district attorney to prosecute those arrested after an Oct. 12 riot at a mission church to the “full extent of the law,” after several of the rioters defaced and pulled to the ground a statue of St. Junipero Serra.
“This attack on a cherished religious symbol on our own church property is not a minor property crime, but an attack on Catholics as a people,” Cordileone wrote in an Oct. 26 letter to Lori Frugoli, the Marin County district attorney.
“If the perpetrators of this crime are not brought to justice, small mobs will be able to decide what religious symbols all people of faith may display on their own property to further their faith, and they will continue to inflict considerable spiritual suffering on ordinary Catholic people who would see our sacred spaces as unprotected by law.”
11. Dutch cardinal: Euthanasia for children continues ‘slippery slope’, By Simon Caldwell, Catholic News Service, October 28, 2020
Proposals to amend Dutch law to allow the euthanasia of children represent the latest descent down the “slippery slope” of the killing of patients by doctors, a cardinal said.
The practice of euthanasia would continue to widen to include broader categories of people who would qualify for lethal injections, Cardinal Willem Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands, predicted in an Oct. 23 email to Catholic News Service.
“This is perhaps not the last step in euthanasia, but may lead to other steps,” said Eijk, a former hospital doctor.
12. Louisiana Voters Will Decide Whether to Amend Constitution to Exclude ‘Right to Abortion’, By Catholic News Agency, October 28, 2020
Voters in Louisiana will decide Nov. 3 on a constitutional amendment, authored by a pro-life Democrat, which would prevent Louisiana’s courts finding a “right to abortion,” or to public abortion funding, in the state’s constitution.
Under Amendment 1, also known as the “Love Life Amendment,” the Louisiana constitution would be updated to state that “nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
State Senator Katrina Jackson, a pro-life Democrat, authored the amendment when she was a state representative, along with dozens of co-sponsors from both parties.
The purpose of the amendment, Jackson wrote in an op-ed last week, is to ensure that the state’s courts cannot circumvent the state’s existing pro-life laws by finding a right to abortion in the state’s constitution.
13. ‘Nostra Aetate’ anniversary statements spotlight rising anti-Semitism, By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter, October 28, 2020
Marking the 55th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, Vatican II’s landmark document that redefined the Catholic Church’s relationship with other religions, two major Jewish-Christian interfaith partners have exchanged statements hailing the progress between the two religions and calling attention to rising anti-Semitism around the globe.
The two messages were released on Oct. 28 by the heads of the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations.

14. Biden congratulates Archbishop Gregory on being made a cardinal, By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter, October 28, 2020
Former Vice President Joe Biden has joined the chorus of voices hailing Pope Francis’ historic decision to create Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington a cardinal, making him the first African American to ever receive the honor.
“Jill and I were delighted to hear the news from Pope Francis that Archbishop Gregory will be elevated to the College of Cardinals,” Biden said in a statement to NCR. “This historic appointment will give the Archbishop an even larger platform to continue his lifelong commitment to social justice and those on the margins of society.”
15. Just a Parish Priest, By Fr. Roger J. Landry, The Anchor, October 30, 2020
It is a providential occurrence that Father Michael McGivney will be beatified this Saturday in Hartford, during the year in which we mark the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX’s declaring St. Joseph’s the patron of the Universal Church.
St. Joseph is model for priests, particularly parish priests like Father McGivney (1852-1890). St. Joseph was a “just man” and every priest is similarly called to holiness. St. Joseph is model for priests, particularly parish priests like Father McGivney (1852-1890). St. Joseph was a “just man” and every priest is similarly called to holiness. He had a fatherly love for Jesus and sacrificed to protect and provide for him; every priest is meant to treat Jesus in the Eucharist with the love with which Joseph held him in Bethlehem. He had a pure and reverent love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, a model for all priestly Marian devotion. He was a hard worker and model of diligence for every Christian not to mention alter Christus. He was “most chaste,” as the Divine Praises reminds us, an example of the incandescently pure love that’s meant to burn in every priest’s heart. And he was a man of action. The Gospels don’t record one word he says, but the Angel told him he was to name the Son of God “Jesus,” a fitting summary of his life, which bespoke that one word.
Father McGivney reminds me of all of these qualities of St. Joseph, but the one that strikes me the most is the last.

In the best biography of Fr. McGivney, aptly entitled Parish Priest, authors Douglas Brinkley and Julie Fenster said that they wanted to write a book about him because he was “the most unassuming of Catholic clerics” and “just a parish priest.” The heart of Catholicism, they emphasized, “lies with the parish priests, who become so much a part of their parishioners’ regular lives. They celebrate Mass, baptize infants, visit the sick and dying and preside at weddings and funerals.” It’s to parish priests, they said, that Catholics turn in times of personal crisis.
By writing about Father McGivney, they emphasized with italics, they were “embracing that very obscurity and so honoring all parish priests,” whose stories, “if they are told at all, are buried in parish newsletters and local newspapers.” They hoped that their work would “help to instigate fresh thinking on the priesthood and its manifest potential.”
We see the manifest potential of the priesthood fulfilled in Fr. McGivney’s holy life.
We pray that, as a result of his beatification, we will see it brought to perfection in many unassuming priests of action like him.
And we ask God through his intercession that the Knights he founded will continue to form men to be committed “practical Catholics,” giving the witness of unity, charity and fraternity that the Church and the world need more than ever.

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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